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Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Bikes, OLd Thumbs, and New Teeth

Something new is happening at our house. D'arcy and Julian are spending loads of time outside playing with some neighbor kids. Almost every other day, either my kids will go down the street to knock on the door to see if Jayden, Maddox, and Ava can play, or Jayden, Maddox, and Ava will come down and knock on our door to see if D'arcy and Julian can play outside. Their house is about five houses down, and they spend their time riding their bikes and scooters up and down the sidewalk, kicking around their soccer balls, or digging for worms.
D'arcy had officially outgrown her 10'' bike. Her training wheels have been off for about a month, and her knees were practically hitting her face with every turn of the pedals. Julian had a second hand bike that we discovered was particularly difficult to pedal, and so, although he was riding Maddox's bike like a pro, he would not ride his own. We recently received both a generous bonus and fantastic tax return and decided to go crazy and buy the kids new bikes and helmets. Nothing fancy, just your basic Huffy bicycle. We vetoed princesses and lightning mcqueen since those guys add $20 bucks to the sticker price! Still, the kids were excited, and Julian even commented that his bike was "shiny".
After returning from Academy, the local sporting goods store that I have to admit we had only visited once before in the last five years, the kids were eager to put their new bikes to use. This called for me to finally take some pictures of my own family in 2010.
In the picture of Julian, if you look extremely closely, you'll see a scooby-doo bandaid on his left thumb. A week ago, he discovered a cut on his hand and asked for a band-aid. In our house, band-aids only get distributed if blood is present. I put a band-aid on his cut. After a couple of days, I discovered that the band-aid was preventing him from sucking his thumb, a habit we have been trying to persuade him to give up for over a year. When his band-aid fell off after a couple of days, I put another on. He was a little confused as there was no more blood, and at some level he realized what he was giving up and wasn't sure if a cool band-aid was worth it. For the last week, he's had a band-aid on and I have yet to discover him with his thumb in his mouth. I'm determined to keep one on him for 21 days to see if we can permanently shake this habit.
I've also included a picture of our baby. He's not riding a bike, but he proudly showing off his two new front teeth.
Speaking of teeth, D'arcy's first tooth is loose, and her adult tooth is scarily further back in her mouth. I told her she was destined for braces and so she woke asking, "Am I going to get braces today?" She's been waiting patiently for the day her tooth would be loose, and now that it's here she is happy to share her joy with Julian. Julian isn't so sure that this is in D'arcy's estimation "A happy time". He made it clear that he would be glad if his teeth never fell out.

Castaneda Family

I was afraid it might rain, but this last day of February turned out to be a beautiful, sunny, 62 degree day. I met up with the Castaneda family at one of the natural areas here in town. Ludy works at American Funds which before Julian was born was also my employer. They seem to be a really wonderful family, and I particularly tried to capture the sweet relationship that these sisters have. We spent the morning taking some photos and getting a workout. Take a look.

Friday, February 26, 2010

First Steps

I knew it was coming. All of my babies have taken first steps sometime between 10 and 12 months. For the last month, though, Schroeder has been resistant to the idea of letting go. He would grab your finger like his life depended on it, and if you pried his little hands off yours, he would slowly lower himself to the ground.

I knew his confidence had grown, when today, I turned around to find him standing independently in the hallway with a toy in his hand. I called Stephen and began with, "Guess what your son did!"

"Which son?" is usually his reply as many of our conversations begin with this phrase and could follow with something disgusting, something infuriating, something hilarious, or in this case, something exciting from either or both of our sons.

Then, tonight, as I was putting his pajamas on, I stood him up, and he decided to show off his new found confidence and take his first "official" steps towards me. After two or three steps, he fell which was followed by a big smile which showed off all four fangs (as Stephen put it) and one big dimple.

I've neglected to post all his little milestones over the last couple months including cutting more teeth, being weaned, standing on his own, using a sippy cup, eating meat and lots of table food, and saying his first word. His first word is "Hi" and after debating for a week whether he was saying it intentionally, I was finally convinced that he was when Stephen and I picked the kids up from Esther's house after a date night. We walked in, he got a big smile on his face and said "Hi!". Everyone in the room agreed that it was intentional. I couldn't neglect posting his first steps, though.

He's going to be a big brother soon. It's exciting to me to think that he really won't be an infant in August when this new baby arrives. He'll be walking and talking and becoming a full blown toddler. And I'm confident he'll be a great big brother. At playgroup recently, our friend brought her three month old daughter who Schroeder was very enthralled with. He kept trying to hold her hand, and touch her face. Eventually, our friend pulled out the baby's pacifier that looked very much like his. At first, he tried to take it from her since his was put away. To prevent thieving, I pulled his out. He was happily playing when baby Diana spit her pacifier out. When someone put it back into her mouth, he got the bright idea to share his with her. He crawled his way over, and excitedly tried to push his pacifier in her mouth. I think he really thought he was being helpful. Isn't that what he just saw happen? Baby Diana wasn't very pleased, though. I hope he remembers some of the loving torture he's received from his own brother and sister and be more gentle once this new baby comes. I'll keep my fingers crossed for that one.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kids say the darndest things...

"I wrote a sad song today because Benjamin said he wouldn't play with me." --Dramatic little D'arcy Edith

Those Moxley Kids: Update #3 on my sister

Connie spent the last two days in Cincinnati having an MRI, a three hour ultrasound, and a fetal echocardiogram. Here's what she found out. First, All three babies are BOYS! Secondly, they believe she has a partial placenta previa which seems to be the cause of her bleeding, bleeding that has led her to the hospital three times in the last four weeks. Thirdly, the twin to twin transference syndrome has progressed to the point that the recipient twin is swimming in a lot of fluid. His sack is so full that it is very visibly pushing the other two babies to the side. This situation is causing both the donor twin and the recipient to be at a level 3 cardio stage (Level 4 suggests that death is imminent). The doctors would like to do the surgery but are unable at this time due to the positions of the babies. The hope is that they will shift in position so there is a better route to the area in the uterus that needs attention.

Going forward, Connie is on a high dose of a blood pressure medication that will help the recipient baby's heart condition. The medication comes with some uncomfortable side effects that hopefully Connie can handle. Connie will see her regular OB early next week for an ultrasound and then will head back to Cincinnati next Thursday. At that point, if the babies have moved, they'll proceed with the surgery. If the have not moved and their cardio stage has not worsened, they'll wait another week. If they have not moved and their cardio stage has worsened, they will proceed with the surgery but will have to get creative with how they get to the problematic area.

Again, if you feel compassion for this situation, please take a moment to ask the Lord to sustain the life of these three little guys and to give their mom and dad peace through this difficult process.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Those Forgotten Days of Christmas

Before we left for our Christmas in Indiana, I promised to post "12 Days of Christmas" pictures. At the time, I wasn't aware that I would have ear infections on top of morning sickness during our time away. I barely pulled my camera out of the bag the entire trip. On Christmas morning, I took about ten minutes to arrange the children in front of the Christmas tree. Once they were finally convinced to smile, my battery died. So the only picture I have of Schroeder on his first Christmas is one of him screaming while covering D'arcy's face. Oh well.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I finally pulled my camera out of it's bag in 2009! And my first pictures were taken of a very worthy and cute subject. Little Miss Makenna is only 3 weeks old. She was definitely patient with her grandma, mommy, and I as we folded her up and moved her around and dressed her up. It was all worth it Makenna, because now your family can never forget how sweet you are!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Those Moxley Kids: Update on my sister 2

Last Friday, after a week of bedrest, my sister was released by her doctor to go back to work. Later that evening, she again began to have some spotting, but it wasn't as severe this time. She wisely put herself back on bedrest for the weekend and then cautiously went to work on Monday. She made a call to her doctor's office on Monday to make them aware that her spotting, though slight, was still occurring. They felt comfortable with the restrictions she had placed on herself and told her they would see her at her regularly scheduled appointment on Wednesday.
She went in today for that appointment. They did an ultrasound which showed another problem unrelated to the spotting. The identical twins who share a placenta showed signs of a serious disorder called twin to twin transference. Basically, one twin donates extra blood to the other which both deprives that twin of nutrition and overindulges the other twin. The twins begin to have different amounts of amniotic fluid and begin to differ in size. If serious, the disorder is likely to lead to fetal death.
My sister was told she needed to have a surgery that would sever the blood vessel(s) that the twins are using to share their nutrients. This procedure has some extreme risks involved, but may be the best way to save all the babies. Keep in mind that the third triplet which is not identical and who has its own placenta is showing no signs of distress at this time. However, this procedure could endanger that babie's life as well.
My sister was obviously shaken up and saddened. My heart is so burdened for her because getting pregnant was such a physical and emotional battle, and now keeping all three of these babies has become a physical and emotional battle. I know I wasn't prepared for the number of hurdles she would encounter. I mean, a woman just gave birth to eight healthy babies last year, three seems like it should be easy.
My prayer is that the twins will be restored to sharing correctly and the signs that seemed apparent today would not be there at the next ultrasound. Ultimately, of course, my hope is that all three of these babies will have the opportunity to live full lives. If you are stirred with compassion, please be in prayer with me for my sister.